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  1. #1
    Fahrrad Mama kiwigem's Avatar
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    Cold setting: If you're not going to do it yourself. . .

    Hello, folks. Please excuse me if this has been touched on before. I seem to be sub-awesome at rocking the search. I'm considering having the Mistral I recently bought cold set from 120 to 126. Most of the threads I've found on the subject have at least one LBS horror story. So I ask, how does one determine if the LBS is qualified?

  2. #2
    category ii hoarder orangeology's Avatar
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    you can check listen how they pronounce the word 'campagnolo'.

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    most guys at the lbs just say "campy"

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    6mm should be able to squeeze in, your choice.

    As far as finding a good shop, ask them if they have any spare parts for older bikes. When they give you the spiel that any bike older than five years is obsolete (happened to me), turn around and leave.

  5. #5
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    My own advice would be to not do this.

    It is one of those jobs that everyone seems
    to think is easily done (why, back in the day...)
    and most often ****ed up. The major issues
    you will encounter are, first, that most shops
    just don't like to do this kind of stuff any more,
    and two, they don't do it often enough to
    appreciate the frame alignment problems you
    can induce by bending one side or the other
    too much in one direction, i.e. they both need to
    spread outboard equally.

    Why, exactly do you want to do this?

    Look up the string technique for checking frame
    alignment, and get some idea of how to check this
    yourself. Good luck.
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  6. #6
    Fahrrad Mama kiwigem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    My own advice would be to not do this.

    It is one of those jobs that everyone seems
    to think is easily done (why, back in the day...)
    and most often ****ed up. The major issues
    you will encounter are, first, that most shops
    just don't like to do this kind of stuff any more,
    and two, they don't do it often enough to
    appreciate the frame alignment problems you
    can induce by bending one side or the other
    too much in one direction, i.e. they both need to
    spread outboard equally.

    Why, exactly do you want to do this?

    Look up the string technique for checking frame
    alignment, and get some idea of how to check this
    yourself. Good luck.
    Yes, these are my concerns. Frame building is such an art, how can frame stretching be no big deal? Anytime someone says, "Ah no problem," I fear they are just not as persnickety as I would like them to be. I actually am not at all certain that I want to do this. I am merely considering it as it would make finding an appropriate wheel setup a bit easier.

  7. #7
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Take some time to get a feel for Frame and Fork Preparation.

    Then, apply what you have learned and String the Stays. This is how I center the stays and all you have to do is apply the same ideas to spreading your stays. There is always a risk of damaging something but if you are careful, it should go OK.

    If you can use a tape measure and a lever, you are in good shape. If you are mechanically inclined, you should have no problem. If you don't know how to use a tape measure, you might not want to tackle the task yourself.



    I know this all looks very crude but it does work and I have never had a problem centering the stays. I also never spread stays, preferring to keep my bicycle frame sets as close to original as I possibly can. But that is just me. Lots of folks have no problem with altering a vintage road bicycle frame set.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I've been thinking of doing this myself for cold setting a frame from 120 to 130 mm. Kind of scared about it. Have thought about asking a shop how much they'd charge as I'm assuming I'll have to go to them to get the dropouts aligned anyway, right? Well that and I'm car free and lack a long 2x4, though I've been thinking about attempting buying one at the local home depot and riding it home. Not sure how that'll go. In my case it's a pretty abuse frame that would otherwise not be used. We'll see how it all goes down.
    Last edited by himespau; 01-10-12 at 02:05 PM.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    I've been thinking of doing this myself for cold setting a frame from 120 to 130 mm. Kind of scared about it. Have thought about asking a shop how much they'd charge as I'm assuming I'll have to go to them to get the dropouts aligned anyway, right? Well that and I'm car free and lack a long 2x4, though I've been thinking about attempting buying one at the local home depot and riding it home. Not sure how that'll go. In my case it's a pretty abuse frame that would otherwise not be used. We'll see how it all goes down.
    NO cold setting here.. I just slide/minor pry it in there. Minor pain doing flats.. but not so bad.

    IF.. I had to try a reset on the rear.. I'd set a longish axle in with bolts on the INSIDE of the spacing.. and then turn the bolts out for expansion.. a turn to each side at a time. Loosening tightening would give a feel for how your progressing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SortaGrey View Post
    NO cold setting here.. I just slide/minor pry it in there. Minor pain doing flats.. but not so bad.
    Aren't you afraid of bending/breaking the axle due to mis-aligned dropouts when you do this? Just curious because I was told that was a risk.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  11. #11
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Aren't you afraid of bending/breaking the axle due to mis-aligned dropouts when you do this? Just curious because I was told that was a risk.
    It is a risk. I ok with taking reasonable risks and I've never broken an axle.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    most lbs's make a go of it by selling new bikes and accessories. the repair dept, in many cases, is a necessity in order to give potential customers the confidence to buy. so i would look up a local frame builder (and you may find some good advice in the "framebuilders forum" if you post there.) to do the work. they have experience in working metal and a deep appreciation for a straight frame. or better yet, i would look into finding a good hub of the proper dimensions.

    remember it's the axle that must be of the right dimensions not the hub. spacers can be your friend. you might want to take a hard look at that 120mm hub, if you have one.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 01-10-12 at 03:07 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Aren't you afraid of bending/breaking the axle due to mis-aligned dropouts when you do this? Just curious because I was told that was a risk.
    Well, that all depends on the alignment of the dropouts before the cold setting. Depending how far and which way they were off, it could actual improve the situtaion. However, if they are good to begin with, the cold setting will put them out of alignment. That will impose a bending stress on the axle. It certainly makes the axle more prone to bending and possibly breaking. The biggest risk will be with a cheap, carbon steel, freewheel axle. The least risk will be with a CrMo, freehub axle.

    But back to the OP's orignal question. You can always ask the LBS for references and check them out. The other big confidence booster would be seeing a full set of Park (or other) alignment tools in the shop. Or you can just take it to the closest framebuilder, who has probably cold set just about every frame that he has built.

  14. #14
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwigem View Post
    Yes, these are my concerns. Frame building is such an art, how can frame stretching be no big deal?
    Anytime someone says, "Ah no problem," I fear they are just not as persnickety as I would like them to be.
    I actually am not at all certain that I want to do this.

    I am merely considering it as it would make finding an appropriate wheel setup a bit easier.
    If this is your main reason, better off to work on the hub/wheel.

    Much of what you find in 126 can be modified down to 120mm
    pretty easily, although depending on how you work the axle
    spacing issues, you may have to take some time to redish the
    wheel. This is mostly what I do, and I have access to a whole
    shop and a garage full of tools, so if I really wanted to cold
    set a frame, I could probably do so.

    I guess if you can find a shop to do this, it would be quicker
    than the wheel modifications, thus cheaper. But if it were me,
    I'd work the wheel angle.
    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
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  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    But back to the OP's orignal question. You can always ask the LBS for references and check them out. The other big confidence booster would be seeing a full set of Park (or other) alignment tools in the shop. Or you can just take it to the closest framebuilder, who has probably cold set just about every frame that he has built.
    There is a conspicuous lack of blue handled tools in our frame shop and most new frames need a little tweak although if you are building things right you are looking at changes of around 1mm to get things just right and not 5mm plus.

    Bigger changes in spacing warrant hot setting to reduce stresses to the stays and we have re-spaced a lot of older tandems in this way to accommodate wider hubs... they tend to be far too stiff for cold setting.

    With that being said, cold setting a frame to increase spacing is not a big deal if you know what you are doing and a good shop will cold set and then re-align the dropouts.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Aren't you afraid of bending/breaking the axle due to mis-aligned dropouts when you do this? Just curious because I was told that was a risk.
    Mine is moving out 6mm.. or .24". Around 3000+ this way.. no problems.

    One lbs guy quacked about the same thing... risk etc. But going to 126 meant no bike sale there......
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  17. #17
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    I just grab the dropouts and pull apart, measure, pull, measure. Then check center with my alignment tool and adjust as required. Then square up the dropouts and align the dropout hanger.

    No big deal, really, if you have the tools. Actually, measuring and string work fine too. Any upright primate could do it.

  18. #18
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    I just grab the dropouts and pull apart, measure, pull, measure. Then check center with my alignment tool and adjust as required. Then square up the dropouts and align the dropout hanger.

    No big deal, really, if you have the tools. Actually, measuring and string work fine too. Any upright primate could do it.
    And probably more than a few hunched over primates...
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  19. #19
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    I just grab the dropouts and pull apart, measure, pull, measure. Then check center with my alignment tool and adjust as required. Then square up the dropouts and align the dropout hanger.

    No big deal, really, if you have the tools. Actually, measuring and string work fine too. Any upright primate could do it.
    Do you have a special tool for checking alignment? I'd imagine those are pretty pricey, no? I'd thought I'd have the lbs do the dropout alignment as I doubt I could justify that cost for one time.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  20. #20
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    Do painters do this stuff? If you would prefer to leave the stays and just encounter difficulty every wheel change, you could align the dropouts for the wider size. I want to know if painters do this because I have to do work on curved blade forks which can get complicated.

  21. #21
    elcraft
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    Himespau, since we are lucky enough to have such a resource, why not take your bare frame to Harris Cyclery in West Newton. They are entusiastic about older quality frames and making them usable with newer componentry. Since you are car free, I could help you get the frame to Harris if you need to. PM me if you are interested

  22. #22
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    most lbs's make a go of it by selling new bikes and accessories. the repair dept, in many cases, is a necessity in order to give potential customers the confidence to buy. so i would look up a local frame builder (and you may find some good advice in the "framebuilders forum" if you post there.) to do the work. they have experience in working metal and a deep appreciation for a straight frame. or better yet, i would look into finding a good hub of the proper dimensions.

    remember it's the axle that must be of the right dimensions not the hub. spacers can be your friend. you might want to take a hard look at that 120mm hub, if you have one.
    I had my 1967 Carlton coldset recently by a local framebuilder. He spread the rear drops from 120mm to 132.5mm, spread the fork from 90mm to 100mm, realigned a slightly tweaked fork, and aligned the frame, all for a mere $50. For me at least, it is worth every penny to leave it with someone that can do the stuff properly so I can worry with other details on the bike instead.
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  23. #23
    Gone World Hepster 23skidoo's Avatar
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    I've had success spreading from 120 to 126 and 126 to 130 using parts from my local ace hardware: a 10" piece of all thread with a mark at center, four nuts, four flat washers and four thick plastic washers. Thread two sets of nut-flat washer-nylon washer into the center portion of the all thread with the plastic washers facing outboard and slip the works fully into the drops, snugging the plastic washers up against the inner face of the dropouts, and reverse the stack order so you've got another set threaded snugged up against the outer face of the dropouts and you're ready to go and it's a lot easier to cart home on your bike than a 2x4. I just eyeball the center mark on the all thread to center between the drops and loosen the outboard nuts a few mm equally and tighten up the inboard sets a half turn or so at a time alternating sides until they're snugged up against the outboard sets and let it rest a bit before I move the outboards a few more mm and repeat the process. You'd be surprised how far you can spread the drops to gain just a mm or two.

    If the frame was priceless I would have it professionally tracked and aligned by an experienced frame builder.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member custermustache's Avatar
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    I'm with 23skidoo

    I even show you how.

    It's easy.

  25. #25
    Fahrrad Mama kiwigem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by custermustache View Post
    I'm with 23skidoo

    I even show you how.

    It's easy.
    Ooh, jazzy! Thanks! I particularly like the part about how the reader probably shouldn't do it based on your advice- LOL. Which means I probably will, at least if I can't find a workable wheel situation.

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